The biggest matchup for this Saturday will be Alabama's lack of production on kick-off coverage, against Kentucky's nation leading 38.5 yard kickoff return average. That's right, they're tops in the country. If ever there was a game where it could really come back to bite us, it would be this one.
The one thing you don't want to do for a team you're favored against is give them a short field. Short fields lead to confidence. You don't want them to have ANY confidence whatsoever.
Now that I have your attention, I'll bring up that they've only had 6 kick returns for 231 yards. 1 of those was by Derrick Locke (who has had 3 of them), and it went the full 100 yards. There was only one more kick return against Western Kentucky, and that one went for 27 yards. So let's see. Take away the one kickoff return for 100 yards and you have an average of 26.2 yards per return. Sounds good to me. Before the 100 yarder, their longest return was for 40 yards against Middle Tennessee State.
Regardless, you know the speed is there, so everybody needs to be sure and fill their gaps, and don't get caught out of position...ahem, Eryk Anders...cough cough.
Another big thing to keep an eye on is our running backs protecting the football. We got lucky against Georgia that their linebacker hit JPW in the face on that third down, because Coffee dropped the football. Roy Upchurch fumbled once against Western Kentucky in the redzone as well. There have been others, but the biggest thing is to make sure you hold on to the football. The Wildcats have returned two fumbles for touchdowns in the first four games, so you know they'll be looking to strip the football.
I totally forgot to remind you guys that I'm a genious when it comes to picks. I went 4-1 last week to notch my record up to 14-8 after a dismal 6-6 start. If you're curious, here's the picks, and the scores were as follows:
Oregon St 27 - USC 21 (had Oregon St +25.5) W LSU 34 - Miss St 24 (had LSU -24.5) L Houston 41 - East Carolina 24 (had Houston +24.5) W South Florida 41 - NC State 10 (had S Fla -8.5) W Kentucky 41 - Western Kentucky 3 (had Kentucky -20.5) W
Yup. 4-1. That's pretty successful. Thursday we'll make some more picks and see if we can do even better.
Time to keep moving. The Georgia game was days ago. Kentucky is next on the slate, and this isn't a bad team that we're playing on Saturday.
The rest of the world is focused on a possible stock market crash, and the college football world is focused on Coach Saban's quick turnaround in Tuscaloosa. But, do you know what the Tide players are focused on?
Yup. Kentucky. Last year they knocked LSU from the ranks of the unbeaten. They've got a heckuva defense, and a good offensive line. They're good on both sides of the ball. We'll need to execute to perfection to make sure that we come out ahead in this ballgame. Remember, after that win last week, that means it's just a bigger target on our backs.
So, let's take a look at Kentucky, shall we?
Well, first off, I think we're a little bit more serious about football. If you take a look today at ASeaofBlue.com, the premier Kentucky sports blog, you'll notice that the first article on the page isn't talking about this weekend's showdown, or last weekend's win over Western Kentucky. It's talking about the new distance of the 3-point line in college basketball. Yes, basketball. In the middle of football season, with their team 4-0 and facing the #2 team in the country on the road. Basketball.
So that's a comforting thought. However, the football team will not be thinking about basketball this week. They'll be thinking about how to beat our beloved Tide.
We don't seem to have too many issues on the injury front (knock on wood), but Kentucky will be without a few players.
The Wildcats possibly best defensive player, Micah Johnson, is doubtful for this weekend. He missed last week's game against Western Kentucky with a high-ankle sprain, and they don't believe he'll be ready to go. Read more on his injury and wha he means to the team here.
Further down in the article you'll also learn that they'll also be without right tackle Justin Jeffries, who has made 17 straight starts for that offensive line, due to an MCL sprain.
Also possibly out for the game is starting strong safety Ashton Cobb, who was arrested and charged last week with second-degree stalking, third-degree terroristic threatening, and harassing communications by his ex-girlfriend. Coach Rich Brooks said he was suspended from the University, so we don't know if he'll be back this week or not.
Their QB is Mike Hartline. The kid has thrown 3 TDs to only 1 interception, and has a completion percentage of 58.5 percent. He's thrown for 633 yards in the first 4 ballgames, which means he hasn't had to throw much at all to win these games.
They've beaten some pretty bad football teams. Their defense has been laying the wood, but here's the slate so far:
@ Louisville - 27-2 Norfolk St - 38-3 Middle Tenn St - 20-14 Western Kentucky - 41-3
Not exactly any barn burners there. I'm curious why the Middle Tennessee St game was so close.
They're averaging 170 yards per game on the ground, including a nice 4.5 ypc average. Their D is only giving up 72 yards per game on the ground, with a lofty 2.5 ypc average there. Looks shockingly like Alabama's numbers. However, the difference lies within the teams you've played.
"Yea, though the Crimson Tide walk through the valley of the shadow of Herschel Walker, they shall fear no Dawg. For Nick Saban, art with them. His scheme and his staff, they comfort them. He preparest a game plan for them in the face of their enemies. He cheweth their fannies at practice. Their signing class runneth over -- with five-star recruits." - Andy Staples, Sports Illustrated.
I don't even know what to say.
Do you remember January 4th, 2007? "We want to be the team that everybody hates to play." Looks like we're getting there.
Honestly, that was the most fun I've had watching a football game since...well...since last week. This team is something special. Enjoy the moment guys, because we'll lose big Andre, and Caldwell, and maybe even Terrence Cody to the NFL next season. This is an amazing group of linemen, and it won't be this way next year...so enjoy it while you can. The ass-whipping they're putting on people is priceless, and hopefully it won't stop anytime soon.
Georgia gave us quite a bit to work with. It just proves that teams with discipline will, more times than not, come out on top. How many different times did they keep our drives going with critical penalties in the first half? It was unbelievable. They just played stupid. I think a lot of them were frustration penalties from being beaten so badly, but they still played a big part of this game. Alabama had 2 penalties for 9 yards, including one delay of game on a kickoff. Yeah, that was it.
It's really fun to just watch a team crush another team. This is what last year's LSU team should have been doing, but Les Miles is an idiot and made them look like a finesse team. Throwing the ball all over the place and not killing teams in the process. Leaving bad teams like Auburn, Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, etc, in the games and losing 2 of them. It was ridiculous. Saban doesn't appear to be making that mistake. What you do is dominate the other team. Take their spirit early and never give it back.
Now, you know that I don't really give a damn about polls. It doesn't matter where we're ranked right now - it only matters at the end of the season. But...since we've been given a lot of props everywhere, I'll go ahead and post what's up:
Dan Wetzel, from Yahoo.com, is curious how the rest of the SEC feels now. For the past decade, the rest of the league was out winning BCS titles, and basically rolling over the traditional kingpin of the league. And that's changed now. Read more here.
"He never looks happy. Public happiness might be construed as satisfaction, and satisfaction could lead to slacking off, and slacking off could lead to losing, and Nick Saban would rather sleep with snakes than lose." - Pat Forde, ESPN.com.
And finally, let's get one more of these out of the way...
Ok, 24 hours is almost up. Finish up your celebrations.
Stakes just got bigger. We control our own destiny now. Just gotta go out there, one game at a time, and take care of business. Easier said than done.
Coach makes it well-known that it's not that Georgia will try to trick us with anything...they just do what they can to out-execute us. And that's how you beat them. You have to out-execute them. Read more here.
So...I didn't think Oregon St would actually pull out the game last night...but I didn't pick them plus the 25.5 points, so that makes me 11-7 on the season. I'm down with it. Here's hoping the rest of the weekend goes that way.
Also, the boys from the Bulldawg Blawg have posted a response to my original post, which you can find at their site. Here's how they think they game will go.
"f you're a Bama fan, you're probably wondering what's going on this week. Why is Georgia wearing black? Why is Mark Richt making fun of my coach? I think there's two valid answers to these questions. Answer one is that Mark Richt does not like Nick Saban. I think it started with the SEC Championship Game in 2003. One might say that Saban's LSU Tigers ran up the score on the Georgia Bulldogs. Richt and Georgia have not lost to a Saban coached team since that game. The other answer is that you aren't just dealing with Mark Richt this week. You're dealing with Evil Richt. Evil Richt is somewhat of a new phenomenon. As a Georgia fan, I was not aware that Evil Richt existed until last season. Many people think he first poked his head out by ordering his team to celebrate in Jacksonville, but I disagree. Just the opposite. Evil Richt first appeared when his team got too excited about beating Vanderbilt. This is Georgia. We don't get excited about beating Vanderbilt.
So for you Bama fans, I'd be less worried about black jerseys, and more worried about what Evil Richt is going to do on Saturday. He'll be all over the refs. He'll get his defensive players fired up and ready to get after John Parker Wilson. He'll have his receivers ready to torch your secondary, and Knowshon ready to jump over your defense. Not just one player. Your entire defense.
I've seen Bama fans saying that Georgia is using the black jerseys to pump themselves up. "They're looking for motivation," says Bama fan 1. "They need this to get fired up, " says Bama fan 2. With all that talk, I think it shows one thing. Bama is thinking about the jerseys. If you're talking about it, you're thinking about it. Evil Richt is in your head already.
But in all seriousness, I think this is could be a great game. More along the lines of the 2002 game than 2003 or 2007 even. Both teams thrive on running the ball and stopping the run. Even though I don't believe Jack Nicholson or Diane Keaton will be in attendance...something's gotta give. Here's to hoping it's Bama's defense that will give.
College Football News is predicting a Georgia win - 23-16. That's cool, but I don't really understand how they came up with it. And I quote: "Alabama is the real deal, but Georgia, in the black jerseys, will be a bit more consistent. Alabama might have the offensive line and a frothing-at-the-mouth defense waiting to pounce, but it doesn’t have Stafford or Moreno." If the defense is that good...wouldn't Moreno and Stafford basically be non-factors? Ehh...it is what it is.
More coach talk found here. Alabama's rushing attack vs Georgia's run defense. Honestly, I'm curious to see how they stack up after having so many injuries in the offseason. Surely they can't be THAT dominant with backups in, right?
You know what we've always had whenever we have great seasons? Senior leadership. We've got guys that have bought into Saban's process, and they're keeping everyone else in line. We're lucky to have Caldwell, Wilson, Johnson, and others that are great examples both on and off the field. Read more about this here.
One BIG thing to pay attention to Saturday is the fact that Georgia is tied with Texas Tech for tops in the country for MOST PENALTIES. Will that sneak up and bite them?
The tide enjoys the opportunity to play in such a big game...but if you ask the players, it's just the next game. "If we weren’t ranked and they weren’t ranked, it would still be a dogfight,” receiver Mike McCoy said. Damn right.
Well, it is now time for the picks. I'm 10-7 on the year now, so that's cool. Much better than 6-6. Hopefully this week will give me some more to work with.
USC at Oregon St (+25.5) Tonight - 8:05pm ESPN --- I've learned my lesson. Never EVER pick against a home team on a Thursday night on ESPN. No, Oregon State won't win this game, but they give USC fits every year, and I think USC could be just going through the motions after killing their first few opponents. Mike Riley just seems to know how to prepare for a Pete Carroll coached team, and I think that Oregon St could keep this one close. And even if they don't, 35-10 or 42-17 still keeps me in the point spread. Cheers to the Beavers!
Mississippi St at LSU (-24) Saturday - 6:35 ESPN2 --- Mississippi St looks like they're just beaten down, both physically and mentally. They've, for the most part, been awful on the road under Croom (and awful pretty much everywhere else). I don't forsee them scoring many points against LSU's defense, especially if they couldn't score on Auburn or Georgia Tech, so I think Les Miles gets to name his score here. Could get ugly early, but backdoor points won't matter because State can't score anyway. I'd look for about 4 turnovers by the Dawgs and a blowout in Death Valley.
Houston (+10.5) at East Carolina Saturday - 2:30pm CSTV --- East Carolina's defense lost it's starting middle linebacker, and the glue of the team, the week before NC State, and then gave up 30 points to a team that couldn't even score on South Carolina. I've got a feeling that ECU, after losing their shot at a BCS bowl, will be a little bit down. And you don't want to be down against an offense like Houston's. That team will hang half-a-hundy on you quick like if you're not careful. I think Houston wins this game outright.
South Florida (-8.5) at NC State Saturday - 6:30pm ESPNU --- I love the fact that we're getting points here because NC State all of a sudden came to life against a mediocre East Carolina team. NC State lost some key parts of their team for the season, and while it was fun to see them upset ECU last week, they're still not very good. I think Matt Grothe will have a field day against these guys. South Florida by 17.
Western Kentucky at Kentucky (-20.5) Saturday - 6:00pm ESPN Gameplan --- Ok, let's see here. Western Kentucky has looked out of their league when you put them up against good competition. And for some reason, the line, after opening at 22, has dropped to 20.5. Somebody please explain that to me. I'm getting Kentucky for less than 3 tds against Western Kentucky? Yeah, I'll take it. If Bama can beat them 41-7, giving us a BS td, and leaving points on the field, I would imagine Kentucky could at least beat them 35-14, right?
Other games I feel good about, but won't count on my part for the year...
Ole Miss at Florida (-22) ... There's just something about this line. It opened at 24 and then dropped. Seemed like a lot of points, but Vegas isn't usually wrong on these.
Virginia Tech (+7) at Nebraska ... How are the Cornhuskers giving up points against Va Tech? No, the Hokies haven't looked great, but Nebraska hasn't proven ANYTHING yet.
Central Florida (-4.5) at UTEP ... UTEP is horrible. They're just a bad football team. Bama fans, this is what we would look like right now if Mike Price was still our coach. This guy can't even stay competitive in Conference USA? Yikes.
San Jose St at Hawaii (-3) ... I don't know why, but I always like Hawaii at home. Not to mention the fact that San Jose St couldn't beat a bad Stanford team last week. I think Hawaii wins by at least a touchdown here.
Finally, we haven't had it for a while, but it's time for the Pelican State SportsBONEHEAD CALL OF THE WEEK. If you'd like to ready my Bonehead call, head on over to his blog and check it out...
"Tommy Tuberville. I know the very sound of the name on a Tide blog is like yelling Voldemort to a group of Harry Potter groupies, but I come not to praise, but to bury him.
And believe it or not, Tiders, LSU fans hate Tuberville far worse than they hate your coach...what was his name again?
Tommy Tuberville, a man known as one of the most underrated coaches in the conference, a man who for years has been called the "Riverboat Gambler" is my bonehead call of the week.
Some have argued that his bonehead call was hiring the overmatched Tony Franklin, but I won't go with that. I think it could eventually work out. But what the hell happened on Auburn's second to last drive of the game? But how in the name of Bo did Kodi Burns not see the playing field during that drive? Kodi would have been much more valuable than the statuesque Chris Todd on the drive in which Auburn took the ball with 5:45 to go in the game, nursing a one point lead. Instead, two Ben Tate rushes and one Chris Todd pass later, LSU got the ball with 4:45 to go in the game. Auburn used all of 55 seconds. Not even a full minute! I am more outraged than most Auburn fans I know.
The drive was a failure, from the top of the Pressbox to the bottom of Chris Todd's cleats. That's why it, in it's entirety, is my bonehead call of the week."
¶ 9:20 AM2 commentslinks to this post
Not to divert focus or anything, because EVERYONE, including the fans, should be focused on Georgia this week...but I did read an interesting article at ESPN.com about Ronald Steele and everything that he's been through with his knee injuries, and what it means for him to get a shot to play for Alabama this year. It's good stuff. Makes you feel good.
The boys didn't wrap up tackles against Arkansas which means - they had to get back to fundamentals in practice. The most obvious guys that were doing that were Hightower and Prince Hall. Both of which got chewed out pretty good for it. Read more about Bama going back to the basics.
The black jerseys this weekend are, in my opinion, a scare tactic to try and get inside the Tide players' heads before the game. It gets the fans fired up, and gets the players excited, but how excited can you get when you know it's coming? Read more about Georgia and their blackout. There are certain people that jersey colors won't affect...and I believe Nick Saban is one of them. A team takes on the personality of its coach - and ain't nobody in that Bama locker room gonna be scared at any point this season.
On top of the blackout, Mark Richt has also closed practices this week, for the 2nd straight year against the Tide, because...well...because it worked last year. Now, just so you know, Georgia practices were already closed...but now the 15 minutes at the beginning of every practice will be closed to the media as well, so there will be NO practice coverage of Georgia this week. Sounds kinda like Coach Richt is pulling out all the stops for this one, ehh? Lucky jerseys, closing practice...what's next?
Some of these blogger predictions can be pretty funny. For example - check this out.
I don't want people getting cocky yet. I hate it when people predict that we're going to beat teams...even when I do it sometimes. Especially people like Barry Krauss, who has said "(Bama) will win that game," in reference to the Georgia game Saturday. Yeah, I'd love to see it...but please, no more bulletin board material.
I'm just excited about the fact that, for the 2nd time in less than a month, we're one of the featured teams in college football again. If we were to somehow find a way to win this game...well...yeah. There would be pandemonium. And then we'd have to find a way to calm down so we don't get beat by Kentucky next week.
So for now, we'll focus on what is right in front of us, and that's a good Georgia team who, even with a makeshift offensive and defensive line, still has better talent than any of the teams that we've faced so far, including Clemson. This will be a battle of epic proportions.
One thing that will be interesting for Georgia fans is not hearing Larry Munson on the radio broadcast at home for the first time in 43 years. Larry retired yesterday due to poor health, and will watch the game at home with friends.
Finebaum knows how rabid the fanbase will get if Bama pulls out a win...and he goes ahead and tells Saban to not even try to calm everyone down, cause it's pointless. Read more here.
Well, they're having to pull out the "motivational tools" to try and beat us. That's a good thing because, in my opinion, that means we're in their heads already. Coach Mark Richt has announced that the game Saturday would be Georgia's 2nd ever blackout. Incase you didn't catch it last year, this is what it looked like.
Yeah, it looks cool, but to me, when you have to rely on gimmicks, or other kinds of motivation other than believing you can whip the person across from you, you've already lost half of the battle. But hey...to each his own. It worked last year in beatdowns over Auburn (45-20) and Hawaii (41-10). We'll see if it works against The Legend though.
Y'know, it makes me feel good when I see where our coaching staff isn't just satisfied with a victory. Coach Saban said there's plenty that we need to work on, and I believe the players agree. Read more here.
Alabama has jumped to #7 in the Legends poll, #8 in the AP, #9 in the Sportsline.com, and #10 in the Coaches polls. None of that matters because if we win this week, we'll jump several teams, and if we lose, we'll drop. But it's always fun to see your name in the top 10.
You've gotta like the fact that the guys are excited about playing Georgia. They're focused, but they seem confident. Not overconfident, but confident. Read more here.
Auburn's coaching staff and players almost acted like they won the game Saturday. Ridiculous. Read their comments from after the game here.
As far as the picks go, I went 4-1 on my actual picks (and 5-0 in the ones that I "felt good about"). The only one I missed was West Virginia, and you can bet I won't make that mistake again. Haha. Either way, my total picks are 10-7 against the spread this year. Not too shabby. Now, If I can just go 4-1 again this week.
Oh, and just so you guys know, I will NEVER be picking Alabama games. I did that a few years ago and it bit me...not to mention I don't want to jinx the boys. Hope you guys have a great Monday!
¶ 10:44 PM5 commentslinks to this post
Beatdown of epic proportions. I can't remember hanging 49 on any SEC team...maybe ever. Other than Vandy. We beat Ole Miss back in 2000 45-7. That was a beatdown as well...but that's been 8 years ago.
I thought it could turn into this...but didn't figure it would. I didn't think that the Arkansas D was that bad...but, it was. I made the prediction that Dick would throw picks. It happens every time you try to install a passing scheme with a QB that can't throw the football, or isn't smart enough in his decision making. It just happens.
Now, we prepare for Georgia, who looked impressive against Arizona St last night, but didn't look unbeatable. You wanna beat Georgia, you run it right down their throats and then make Stafford try and beat you through the air. This should be one hell of a game on Saturday night in Athens.
That's right. Only one day til Killin' Time. Straight up.
Bill Stewart is like Mike DuBose. Inherited talent, but is a buffoon, and there's no two ways about it. That game last night was miserable. Have you ever seen something so idiotic happening right before your eyes that you just wanted to stab your own eyes out so you wouldn't have to watch it? It's like a train wreck...you just can't stop watching, even though you've seen it before and you know it's horrible and disgusting and all that.
Yeah...to me, the West Virginia game was that bad last night. It was so obvious who had the talent on that field. The Mountaineers should have won that game by 3 touchdowns, and yet, their coach let them down. That entire staff should be ashamed...but they can't, because they're too stupid to realize where they screwed up.
The last two minutes of regulation were filled with me screaming obscenities in an empty house at a coaching staff thousands of miles away. I felt like an idiot...but then, I realized that they're the idiots. Not one person on that staff took charge of the situation, and Bill Stewart was clueless. It was insane to watch it unfold like that. Even Erin Andrews' sideline report was hysterical. She said nobody on that sideline had a clue what was going on. Nobody was keeping up with the clock. Nobody knew anything. It was utter mayhem at its highest level.
And it drove my record to 6-7 on the year. Boo to you, Bill Stewart. Eat me.
Arkansas and Bama is first on the docket in the morning, which means I get to start drinking early. That's always a good thing. I'm curious what the Arkansas fans are going to have for my boy Leigh Tiffin. Hope it's not too outrageous.
I would have to assume that we're going to keep the offense close to the vest in this one as well. Nothing too dramatic. Just run the football, keep the clock moving, pull out a win by a couple of touchdowns. Don't let it get out of hand, but don't let it get too close for comfort. We want the Bulldogs to think of us as just a methodical pound-it-ground-game team.
But enough about that game...we've gotta win this game first.
We haven't gotten a lot of interceptions so far this year, but I look for that to change tomorrow. Casey Dick has thrown for 600+ yards in 2 ballgames...but he wasn't pressured. You better believe he'll be pressured tomorrow. Anytime he was pressured under Nutt, he cracked. We could end up with 4 or more picks tomorrow, which could make it a blowout anyway. We'll just have to see.
¶ 4:11 PM1 commentslinks to this post
Well, we went 3-2 on the picks last week, which puts us at 6-6 overall this season for a whopping 50%. You haven't made money, but you haven't lost it either. That's cool. Let's see if we can finally bust out this week.
West Virginia (-3) at Colorado Tonight - 7:30pm ESPN --- West Virginia looked AWFUL against East Carolina. Colorado looked AWFUL against Eastern Washington. I think East Carolina's better than Eastern Washington. Really, Colorado isn't in a position to be able to beat West Virginia yet. I'm still sticking with Pat White and Noel Devine running all over the place. This one should be a two touchdown spread...not 3 points.
Temple at Penn State (-28.5) Saturday - 11:00am ESPN --- Temple has played pretty well in the early portion of their schedule...against Buffalo, Army, and UConn. None of those teams are Penn State. This year's Nittany Lions show no mercy. They'll beat you to death...and there's nothing that Temple can do to stop them. I think they'll win this game by 40.
Wyoming at BYU (-29) Saturday - 2:00pm Versus --- Well, let's see. BYU looked AWESOME last week. Wyoming hasn't looked awesome against anybody. The Cowboys are just a bad football team, and the Cougars have no problem running up the score, as evidence by their 59-0 thrashing of UCLA last week. Not to mention the game is in Provo. Yikes. Do I smell another 59-0 type of game?
Akron (-10.5) at Army Saturday - 2:05pm --- Akron has a great offense. Army is pathetic. The Zips should roll with this one BIG.
UL Monroe at Tulane (-6) Saturday - 2:00pm --- Tulane is looking for their first win after playing their hearts out in tough losses to a couple of top 15 teams in Alabama and East Carolina. I think they take out their frustration on the Warhawks from Monroe. I think we're catching points here because of how good Monroe looked against Arkansas a couple of weeks ago, but I think we'll soon find out that Arkansas isn't really that good either. Tulane by at least 10 here.
Others to keep an eye on...
Baylor (+12) at UConn (Friday night) LSU (-2.5) at Auburn Wake Forest (+4) at Florida St Utah at Air Force (+7.5) Florida (-7.5) at Tennessee
Ahh yes. There's a subplot brewing. The Legend of Terrence Cody against All-SEC, All-World center, Johnathan Luigs. That should be one hell of a battle in the trenches. Read more here. I love how, when they asked him who the best center he's faced is, he said Antoine Caldwell. Now that's what I'm talkin about.
This will be a lot of the freshmen's first road game. That's big. Biggest thing is that there's about 10 freshmen that will contribute. And if you think they'll be nervous or anxious or anything - wrong. It's just business. Read more here and here. Arenas said it best - "this freshman class...they're a different breed man."
Mal Moore was in California the other day talking about the Tide to some of the West Coast fans about what's happening in Tide football, and he reminded them that we've still got a long ways to go. This year, health equals depth, but in the future, that won't be such a huge issue. Read more here.
Man. More than 85% of the public bets have been on Alabama, making the line -9.5 for Saturday. I hate going with the public like that. Here's hoping we pull this one out as easily as everyone says we will.
I didn't realize this, but Coach Saban promises jersey numbers to recruits, if he can make it work. That's pretty smart, to be honest. It can create a logistical nightmare, but it makes them happy and keeps something important to them.
The Tide is 23 / 42 for 54.8% on 3rd downs this year, including JPW being 18 / 28 for 64.3% throwing the ball on 3rd down. That's pretty incredible considering we were 10th in the SEC last year at 37.9%. What a difference a new OC can make, even in the first 3 games of the year. Read more here.
Tomorrow...it's picks time! And yeah...I don't have a pick out on Louisville and Kansas State tonight. If I had to lean one way, I'd say Louisville will cover +4.5...but they looked awful against Kentucky early on. We'll see.
¶ 8:59 AM3 commentslinks to this post
...I wanna start previewing the Arkansas game. But, I can't find any freakin site that wants to start talking about it. On Monday, everybody wants to relive the past weekend. There was nothing interesting about this past weekend. Auburn is bad. Mississippi State is worse. Ohio State is bad. USC is bad-ass. Alabama is good. Western Kentucky is bad. See? There's nothing interesting about it.
Which leads me to wanting to start talking about the Tide's first true road test of the season.
Casey Dick has thrown for 641 yards in 2 games, which is almost unheard of at Arkansas. They're averaging 320 yards per game passing, but only 129 yards rushing...and that's against Western Illinois and Louisiana-Monroe. Not good. They're giving up 187 yards per game through the air, and over 125 ypg on the ground.
That's right. Against Western Illinois they gave up 157 rushing yards on 46 attempts, and only 105 yards through the air on 10 completions. Had Western Illinois been a halfway decent team, they'd have beaten the Hogs. Against Louisiana-Monroe, the Razorpigs gave up 71 yards rushing on 26 attempts, and 270 yards passing on 23 completions.
Their defense doesn't look to be very dominant, and their offense is having trouble scoring on ULM and Western Illinois.
However, you can never tell about these games. Arkansas, thanks to Hurricane Ike, now gets a week off before playing us, which can't be a good thing, unless they're rusty.
¶ 2:20 PM1 commentslinks to this post
Ok, so the world is back to normal. Auburn wins, but by a score of 3-2 over a bad Mississippi State team, and Alabama takes care of business at home against a weak opponent. There ya go.
The game against Western Kentucky is what you like to see before going into SEC play. It's a dress rehearsal for what you would like to see against bigger opponents. The running game was there, the offensive line was awesome, the passing game was kinda "ehh" but looked ok, and the defense was as stout as usual, even though they finally gave up a touchdown.
557 yards is awesome. Getting to play 67 kids is even more awesome. Even Thomas Darrah got to come in and do some cleanup work. Roy Upchurch looked great, other than his fumble in the redzone in the 4th quarter.
Mike McCoy didn't drop passes, so that was good. Marquis Maze looks like he'll be the next Tyrone Prothro. He's like a damn human highlight reel - and it's awesome. He made one grab on a 3rd and 4 that only gained about 2 yards, but the catch was insane. Nobody should be able to have caught that ball...and he did it. I'm curious what he'll do in big game situations. Just wait until we go to Georgia. I vote we go right over the top, play-action, on the first play of the game to Maze to start things off. We'll see what happens. Haha.
We'll breakdown the game more later, but for now...I'm pleased.
I went 3-2 on picks this week, which puts me at 5-5 overall. Arizona surprised me by losing, and Cal came out dead yesterday morning. Kinda ridiculous. BYU made UCLA look awful, which in turn made Tennessee look pathetic. :-) Memphis lost by one, which covered the spread, and USC made Ohio State look like a bottom tier WAC team. Hahahaha. I loved it.
You better believe it. Only two days away from Alabama and Western Kentucky. I must admit, I'm a lil bit upset that I don't get to watch Texas put the beatdown on Arkansas this week...but I think it may work out better for us. They're (Arkansas) still going into the next game having not faced a team like ours yet. We shall see what happens.
There's not much Bama news today...just like most Thursdays...so I'll go ahead and post the picks for this week. I went 2-3 against the spread last week. Not a good start to the season, but I'm looking to bounce back this week.
California (-15.5) at Maryland Saturday - 11:00am ESPN --- Cal beat Washington State last week, in Pullman, 66-3. And that was after calling off the dogs. Maryland, to date, has beaten Delaware, in MD, 14-7, and lost at Middle Tennessee State last week 24-14. Yikes. I think Cal is gonna score all over the Terps this Saturday.
UCLA at BYU (-8) Saturday - 2:30pm Versus --- BYU has a stout offense, and while they had trouble with Washington on the road last week, they get UCLA at home here. UCLA just had a huge win over Tennessee, which means they're prime for a letdown (even against a ranked foe), not to mention the fact that BYU is a helluva football team. I believe it was two years ago that BYU covered the spread EVERY weekend. Max Hall is a playmaker, and UCLA still has a lot of guys out with injuries. I think the Bruins come back down to earth in Provo.
Memphis (+3.5) at Marshall Saturday - 6:00pm No TV --- Memphis got beat on a last second interception last week against Rice. Now, one thing that I do know is that Memphis has a pretty good offense. Ranked #20 in the country right now, actually. Their biggest weakness is on defense. Marshall does NOT have a good offense, which means that they don't exactly have a lot to bank on against Memphis' biggest weakness. I think that Memphis, after starting off at 0-2, will win this game outright at Marshall.
Arizona (-11) at New Mexico Saturday - 7:00pm CSTV --- New Mexico was a pretty good team last year, going 9-4. Things aren't looking so good this year. They got shellacked by a decent TCU team in the first game 26-3, and then got beat by a bad Texas A&M team that lost their starting qb in the game to an injury. Arizona, however, has managed to destroy both of their first two opponents, Idaho (70-0), and what was supposed to be a pretty good Toledo team, 41-16. New Mexico hasn't found any offense yet, and Arizona's offense is clicking on all cylinders. I think Arizona could win this one in a rout.
Ohio St at USC (-10.5) Saturday - 7:00pm ABC --- I don't care what the line is on this game - I'd still be picking USC. Pete Carroll has an absurd record against top 10 teams. Something like 7-1 with an average win coming by 20+ points. Not to mention he's had 2 weeks to prepare, and Ohio State's best player, Beanie Wells, isn't at 100%, and may not even play. This has blowout written all over it. Of course...Dirty Sanchez is still the QB, therefore...you never know. But I think USC smokes the Buckeyes in this one.
¶ 1:51 PM0 commentslinks to this post
It never fails. I'm constantly a day behind. Alas, I am picking up today where I left of Monday.
The Arkansas game is now scheduled for an 11:30am CST kickoff in Fayetteville on Raycom. I'm really looking forward to this game...but, we've got Western Kentucky to deal with first. Finish is the name of the game.
We talked the other day about recruit Michael Bowman from Georgia, who's the top rated wide receiver in the state. Well, it appears he will officially commit to the Tide this weekend when he attends the Western Kentucky game.
Alabama has also begun flirting with Auburn commitment Jonathan Atchinson, a linebacker who narrowly picked the Tigers over the Tide. After watching the Clemson game, Atchinson admitted that he hasn't "closed the door yet."
The Legend of Terrence Cody actually has a great story behind it. Read up on the Montgomery Advertiser's write-up here.
I ran across some interesting stuff over at the Washington Huskies message boards. They seem to think that Ty Willingham will be resigning after this season, and that Nick Saban will be taking over. Thought you might get a kick out of it. Read more here.
Bob Toledo sure does know how to talk, doesn't he? Last week he said in an interview at WJOX that he just hoped his football team "didn't go out there and embarrass themselves, and then they put up one helluva fight. This week, before playing East Carolina he mentions that the Pirates "might be better than Alabama right now." I remember Lou Holtz and a slew of other coaches poor mouthing their own teams, and making the other team sound like world beaters. Don't be surprised if Toledo's team pulls off a HUUUGE upset this weekend.
Of course, we can always count on Paul Finebaum to put Alabama fans back in their place. With the help of Danny Sheridan, of course. Read more here.
Finally, one of the biggest Bama football fans anywhere...you can read up on how ol' Hank Jr is doing here. He talks about Coach Saban and the Tide, and how it looks like we're headed in the right direction. Haha.
¶ 12:20 PM0 commentslinks to this post
Lost in all the mess about how poorly the Tide played is the fact that we beat a team from Louisiana...
So suck on that, Les Miles. Haha.
Anyway, I have to admit that I was disappointed with how poorly our offense...and defense...performed. All in all though, we didn't allow any touchdowns, and only 2 field goals. I believe that, once the team got two special teams touchdowns in the first quarter, they took their foot off the gas and just kinda sleep-walked through the rest of the ballgame. I guess it's best to go ahead and get a game like this out of the way...and maybe have to suffer through another one next week...before the conference season starts. Regardless of how pitiful Arkansas has looked, they're still gonna give us a helluva fight at home. They always do.
Brandon Fanney was all over the field on Saturday, along with Hightower and McClain. Arenas was a one man wrecking crew on special teams. The offensive line looked pathetic without Davis, Big Dre, and Mike Johnson at their correct positions. I would almost prefer to keep everybody out until the Arkansas game, just to make sure they're healthy. We can beat Western Kentucky with subs...as long as the guys play smart.
Arenas got his clock cleaned on a hit later in the game, and still tried to go out on the field after suffering a possible concussion. His teammates had to hide his helmet from him. Haha. Read more here.
Ian has a pretty good article about how the Tide needs to use this game as a wake up call. Couldn't say it better myself.
Aside from the game, we got a bit of good news on the recruiting trail. Michael Bowman, the top wide receiver in the state of Georgia, has committed to Alabama. We'll see how long it lasts, cause he really wants to go to Georgia, but he's frustrated that they haven't offered him since he's having some grade issues. Seems a lil bit ridiculous to me...but if they offer him late, he may be gone. I would LOVE to have him opposite Julio next year. 6'4" 215lbs and looks great.
Coach Saban has also offered a scholarship to Joe McKnight's little brother. Read more here.
Anyone hoping for a CBS game against Arkansas might be crazy. That weekend we also have Auburn vs LSU, Tennessee vs Florida, Vandy vs Ole Miss (this game is looking very interesting), Georgia vs Az State, and Mississippi State vs Georgia Tech. I'd be happy with an 11:30 kickoff on Raycom. We could end up with an ESPN matchup though...or ESPN2. We shall see.
¶ 10:23 AM1 commentslinks to this post
A win is a win. Did anybody else feel like they were watching a Gene Stallings coached team out there? Lackadaisical offense...and a stout defense and special teams. Well...I say stout special teams - but you can tell we really need Tiffin in there.
Yeah. I saw it last night. I'm jumping on the bandwagon that this is Spurrier's last year at South Carolina. He was probably the most frustrated that I've ever seen him. At least on national television. Vandy's got a decent defense, and Chris Nickson is actually living up to his billing as a playmaker. Yeah, he made a couple of boneheaded decisions, but for the most part, USC had trouble stopping him. Definitely made for an interesting game.
And for those keeping count, that makes me 1-0 so far, since I had Vandy +10 last night.
Tonight it'll begin...the startup for Football in Tuscaloosa. They'll setup the road blocks and start setting up in the quad, etc. It's gonna be awesome. Read up on what you can and can't do here, if you're tailgating and looking for free parking.
Leigh Tiffin maybe could have been our MVP last Saturday, hitting on 4 out of 5 field goals, with his only miss being from 52 yards. Read up on his thoughts of his performance.
Now, for a weekly segment with our buddy Faimon from Pelican State Sports. This segment is called THE BONEHEAD CALL OF THE WEEK, and it will typically be from an SEC team...but if there's something just too moronic to not post, we'll have that too. Haha.
Congratulations, Sly Croom, you went from being a preseason darling for your surprising run last year to a week one dog for laying an egg at Louisiana Tech. I put the onus of this loss squarely on your large, deep-voiced, round shoulders. You got out-coached by Derek Dooley, and your team was outplayed by a team with far less depth in front of a daunting crowd of 25,000. Your bonehead has two elements:
1) Agreeing to play the game in Ruston in the first place. That was a bad call from day one. Ruston is a dangerous place for opponents, a place they go thinking it is going to be a cakewalk and get surprised when they find out it isn't. Just ask Hawaii from last year, who barely escaped with a 1-point overtime win. While Tech fans like myself were ecstatic to have you come to Ruston, you, as a big-time coach should know better.
2) The second element is even greater than the first. You have a running back who is a 240-lb horse. On a night like that, with the heat forcing Tech to rotate "even some scout teamers" (according to Dooley) into the game, you manage to only give him seven carries in the second half. He ended the first half with 11-67, and he was wearing Tech out. He had only one carry for negative yards, and mixed in a 12-yard run and a 31-yard run. Instead you went with Wesley Carroll, who is well known as a really great passer.
And what you got in the end is a humiliating 8-point loss to Louisiana Tech and a solid last place in the SEC Power Poll at garnetandblackattack.com.
and now, for me....
My bonehead call of the week goes to Tennessee head coach Phillip Fulmer, and offensive coordinator Dave Clawsen. There wasn't one play inparticular that made Monday night's loss just ridiculous, and normally I would call out John Chavis for not being able to stop a 3rd stringer and a whole team of backups, but their coach is Norm Chow, so I'm letting him slide.
Throughout the game, it was obvious that Crompton is about as inconsistent as John Parker Wilson has been over the last couple of years. And rather than taking complete control of the game, and dominating their defense, you instead try to pass the ball as often as you can, which was obviously not working.
Now...what was working was the running game. You were picking up at least 5 yards every time Foster or Hardesty touched the football up the middle, but instead you tried to "spread the field." You know why the SEC is the best conference in football? Power. Strength. Your boys were bigger and stronger than theirs, and rather than going with what works, you tried to trick them and it backfired on you.
There's not a lot going on today. Not much news involving the team, other than the fact that they're focused in on Tulane and nothing else. Coach appears to be doing a good job keeping this team grounded.
Now...time for the picks.
South Carolina at Vanderbilt (+10) Tonight - 7:30pm ESPN --- South Carolina, while beating NC State to a pulp, still looked like a bad team. Chris Nickson appears to have Vandy headed in the right direction, and while I don't think they'll score much, I also don't believe that SC will either. I think Vandy keeps this one close, especially in their hope opener.
Southern Miss (+17.5) at Auburn Saturday - 11:30am Raycom --- Southern Miss put up some serious numbers in their new offense. Auburn's defense is stout, but I don't think it's that stout yet. Southern Miss always has a pretty tough defense, and I don't think that Tony Franklin's "spread eagle" offense can fix their issues in just one week. Look for Southern Miss to put up a decent amount of points, and maybe pull out and upset here. Auburn's been known to tank games early in the year ('07 Miss St, '05 GaTech, etc.) against teams they should beat. This could be a big one.
Ole Miss at Wake Forest (-8) Saturday - 2:30pm ABC --- Ole Miss is much improved over the past few seasons, but I think Wake is going to have a monster year. They've got the most efficient quarterback in the country, a stifling defense, and a rushing attack that can own other teams. Their offense and defense are both dominating, and I think the Rebels may be a year away from being able to compete with this team. As a matter of fact, Riley Skinner may be the best QB that Ole Miss faces all year, other than Tebow. I think Wake wins by two touchdowns in their home opener.
West Virginia (-8) at East Carolina Saturday - 3:30pm ESPN --- East Carolina shocked Virginia Tech in week one in Charlotte, which was considered an ECU home game. A lot of people are jumping on board with those cats, but Va Tech led them by 9 with 3 minutes left in the game, with horrible qb play, and bad defense. Virginia Tech is not West Virginia. Pat White is one of the better dual threat QBs in the country, and I believe West Virginia's defense is a beast this year compared to what VaTech's is right now. I think you're getting some points right now because of ECU's upset, so take them while you can. Skip's got a good team at East Carolina, but they're not good enough to hang with WV.
Northwestern (-6.5) at Duke Saturday - 6:00pm --- Yes, Duke looked good in the first week, against James Madison. Northwestern started clicking last year after their loss to Duke, and Duke went into the tank. I think Northwestern is still firing on all cylinders, and I see no reason to think that the Wildcats won't be ready to avenge last season's loss. They should handle the Dukies by at least a touchdown, and I'd say 10-14 points.
¶ 8:45 AM0 commentslinks to this post
I'm gettin pretty excited about going down there this Saturday. Anybody that's going, please go ahead and give me a shout. We'll meet up and hang out. Should be a wild time, I'm sure.
I had a meeting with Mark, the president of the Memphis Chapter of the Alumni Association yesterday, and I'm going to be helping with a new website for those guys. I'm going to have a blast working on that. If you're from Memphis and would like to join, please check out their current site at BamaontheBluff.com and sign up. They're doing a lot of good things up here, and they need all the support they can get.
Again, if you're in Memphis, plan on coming out to see me and the boys next Friday night at the New Daisy (September 12th). We're playing with a band called Egypt Central that I've talked about before. The flyer is below:
Yeah...you know you wanna be there.
Alabama at LSU is the #5 hottest college football ticket in the country right now, with Auburn at Alabama being #6. Read up here.
Clemson is almost in complete meltdown mode after the Beatdown in A-Town, as the Sports Illustrated writer put it. Check out the episode on the bus here. It's pretty funny.
Read what the players are saying about Tulane here. Focus is awesome. It's definitely cool to me.
UT went down at the hands of a 3rd string QB and a Bruins team that lost 3 offensive starters in the first half. UT got 4 turnovers in the first half and did NOTHING with it. That's pitiful. When the opponent makes a mistake, you have to put your foot on their throat and not let them get back up. The fact that UCLA was even in a position to win this game is a joke.
And, after watching that game, I can't help but look at the schedule and try to find wins for Tennessee. If you can't beat a UCLA team that gives you 4 turnovers, how are you going to compete in the SEC? Let's look at their schedule...
@ UCLA - loss 0-1 UAB - win 1-1 Florida - loss 1-2 @ Auburn - loss 1-3 Northern Illinois - win 2-3 @ Georgia - loss 2-4 Mississippi St - win 3-4 Alabama - loss 3-5 @ South Carolina - loss 3-6 Wyoming - win 4-6 @ Vandy - ... Kentucky - ... we'll have to wait and see for the last two.
But just off the top of my head, they're looking at possibly a 5-7 season, maybe 6-6. Yikes. And Fulmer just signed this stupid extension that makes Mike Hamilton, their AD, look like a complete idiot right now. This team looked abysmal last night, and I don't see where it's gonna get better for them.
Oh well. Onto other more important things.
I'm fairly excited about heading down to Tuscaloosa this weekend to see the Tide and Tulane. It should be a fun ball game, and since it's a night game, there will be plenty of partying after the game.
Finebaum is firmly on the Alabama bandwagon. He jumped on quick too. I listened to the show yesterday and had a blast listening to him belittle all the Auburn fans that wanted to call in. His latest article is pretty awesome. Read up on it here.
Bama opened up as a 29.5 point favorite over Tulane this weekend. Normally, Bama doesn't do a very good job of covering the spread...but this isn't the Alabama that we're used to seeing. I'm curious what the line will be over Western Kentucky if we just humiliate Tulane this weekend. I really do hope the guys stay focused for the next two weeks.
I'll be back with more later. I'm looking into ways of posting entire games on here, incase you all would like to download them. We'll see what I can come up with. :-)
¶ 8:56 AM0 commentslinks to this post
I apologize that I haven't been able to blog for a few days. I took my laptop, but obviously the city of Gulf Shores hasn't heard of the new technology called wireless internet yet. I drove around searching for a hotspot to just blog in the car a couple of times, but never found anything. Kinda sad, really. But, alas, that's what vacations are for...to not have to worry about anything. Of course, my vacation was a lot shorter than anticipated, thanks to the evacuations on Sunday morning, and the fact that the entire 2nd half of Saturday was spent getting ready for the football game. Haha.
Regardless, the trip to the beach was a blast, and I plan on doing it again soon...just not during football season.
I do want to go ahead and introduce a new writer to the blog - Pops Tider. Yes, he's my dad, and yes, he follows the Tide just as close, if not closer, than I do. He is just as opinionated as I am, and while we may disagree from time to time, in the end all that matters is we're both HUGE Bama fans. He'll be writing on here from time to time, especially for times when I'll be out of town on tour, and not able to get to a computer.
Anyway, I watched the game replay last night once I got back to Memphis and took a few notes. I also watched the Ole Miss - Memphis game, and the Georgia - Georgia Southern game, along with South Carolina - NC State and some of Floria - Hawaii. Mississippi State - La Tech I watched the first quarter, and then watched the 4th quarter on my DVR this morning, so I think I've got an idea of what the SEC is looking like right now.
Also, this is just something to kinda make you smile. Terry Don Phillips, the Athletic Director for Clemson, was on NCAA Infractions Committee that slammed Alabama in 2002. From what I understand, he scheduled this game thinking that Alabama still wasn't up to full strength, and he thought it would be a good win over a big name opponent to open the season. It appears that didn't work out quite like he was planning. Should Baby Bowden be looking for a new job?
To start out, we'll talk about the Tide and Clemson. These notes are not in any particular order...so just roll with it.
Mark Ingram and Glen Coffee are both hosses. Their motors run nonstop, and it'll take more than just one guy to bring those boys down.
We've seen the whole "multiple tailbacks" thing before at LSU. It keeps the boys fresh, and that's perfect. Can you imagine next year with Richardson, Coffee, and Ingram? Yikes.
I saw more sprint draws and tight end shifts during this game than I think I've seen in about 5 years. It was AWESOME. I think the sprint draws from the shotgun formation give the tailbacks a better vision of the line, and allows them to see exactly where the holes open up.
Clemson players were dropping like flies. There were a ton of guys that had to be carried off the field, and that reminded me of the early 90s. I like it a lot more when our boys just physically whip the other team. Especially a team in orange.
We played a lot of 3 tight end sets, but I never once saw Preston Dial. That kinda surprised me. He may have shown up in the stat sheets, but I never saw him.
There are still problems at right tackle. I don't think Drew Davis is the answer, but he's formidable for right now. You can still tell that's the weakness though.
On Spillers' kickoff return for a TD to open the 2nd half, Eryk Anders left his lane, which allowed the hole to open up. Guaranteed, Coach Saban will use that as an example. It could have been anybody, but it's a lesson to everyone to stay where they're supposed to.
Julio's first collegiate reception was at the 12:23 mark in the 1st quarter for an 8 yard gain. Awwww yeah, son.
Rashad Johnson looked awful the entire game. He missed tackles all over the field, took a bad angle on Ford's reception over the middle (missing another tackle in the process), and dropped two sure interceptions. He better step up his game or somebody's gonna take his spot.
Andre Smith's injury isn't serious at all. I think he could have played the rest of the game, if it were close. Don't expect to see him until the Arkansas game in 3 weeks.
John Parker, while looking like a veteran and managing the game extremely well, also showed why he's not an All-SEC quarterback. He missed three touchdown passes in the ballgame, and maybe more. He missed on a deep pass to Julio on the first drive of the game (overthrown), and then threw high on a slant to McCoy in the endzone on the 2nd drive on 3rd down. In the 3rd quarter, there was a deep route to Marquis Maze, who had beaten his defender, that was overthrown by just a few feet. Those are the passes you have to hit to beat the big boys.
Leigh Tiffin is a beast and will be a fan favorite for many many years if he keeps doing like he did Saturday. He was 4/5 with his only miss being slightly wide right on a 52 yarder that would have been good from 60.
Maze's one handed grab on the first drive on a dead play brought back memories of Prothro. It's nice to have playmakers.
Our wide receiving corps looks like headhunters. They were going after the Clemson secondary and beating them to a pulp the entire ballgame. That was fun to watch.
Reamer's forced fumble on Clemson's 2nd play, and Hightower's recovery, were both things of beauty. So much for Reamer being "useless" in run defense. He played a damn good ballgame.
Nick Walker looked incredible. He's got great hands. You can expect Chris Underwood to be used a lot like this throughout the year as well, I believe.
Coach McElwain looks like an absolute genious. He is doing with JP what the Bama offense did with Jay Barker in the early 90s - not asking him to win the game, but not putting him in a position to lose it either.
Mark Barron's hit on the 2nd kickoff was awesome. I probably watched it 10 times. We've got guys on this team that REALLY like to hit.
The Legend of Terrence Cody was a huge difference at the line of scrimmage. He's an unmovable force down there. Him and Josh Chapman being as good as they are made moving Lorenzo Washington to end possible, and that move worked out awesome as well.
Just curious...how the hell did they not call holding on Deaderick's sack? Yeah, we would've declined it anyway, but the kid was being held the entire way to the quarterback.
At the end of the day, it's only one ballgame, but damn it was fun.
Ok, so on to the SEC we go.
Georgia didn't look very impressive at all. They were actually beaten off the line of scrimmage several times by Georgia Southern, and, if it were not for several mistakes by GaSouthern's QB, they could have been in for a tight game. When UGA was up 10-0, Georgia Southern drove the football and had it first and goal on the one yard line at the end of the first quarter before throwing a pick in the endzone on third and goal. UGA scored in 4 plays (a 50+ yard touchdown pass to the tight end) to make it 17-0 and effectively end the game.
Arkansas needed a last minute touchdown pass from Casey Dick to come back and beat Western Illinois 28-24. Not a good start for Bobby Petrino's Razorbacks.
Mississippi State crashed back down to earth Saturday night after losing 22-14 to Louisiana Tech in Ruston, LA. So much for the Croom talk about the Bullies being ready to compete for an SEC title and going to a BCS bowl game. Better worry about those WAC teams first, yo.
Ole Miss looked really good...against Memphis. The thing that I'm questioning is why they needed to resort to trickery to score. They had several direct snaps to the running backs, including one where Snead lined up at QB, then shifted to receiver, and the RB threw a pass to Snead. Not sure what the point of all the trickery is...unless they couldn't just whip the Tigers up front, which is scary if true.
LSU handled App State with ease. They deflated the sails early by scoring in 2 plays and whipping the Mountaineers on the line of scrimmage. Not anything too special.
Florida dominated Hawaii in all phases of the game Saturday morning in Gainesville. They returned kicks for TDs, returned interceptions for TDs, threw passes for TDs, and rushed for TDs. Scored 56 points. Yup.
Auburn's new "spread eagle" offense produced a total of 85 passing yards. They had 28 yards through the first 3 quarters. Yikes. They scored on a punt return. They scored on a fumble return. They didn't dominate like they should have. Could be an interesting week against Southern Miss this weekend.
South Carolina looked about as bad as you can look while stomping NC State 34-0. Smelley will be the new starter. Tommy Beecher looked absolutely awful. He is NOT an SEC caliber QB.
Kentucky doesn't look all that great...but they dominated Louisville at Papa John's Stadium yesterday. They're definitely better than they were a few years ago, but I still think they're a lower tier SEC school. Kragthorpe may be looking for a new job after this season, cause it's gonna be miserable for the Cardinals.
Vandy was expected to be awful this year, but they handled a MAC contender, Miami (OH), at their house, 34-13. Looks like they may be better than we thought. They'll contend with Kentucky for the #5 spot in the SEC East.
I've got a feeling that UCLA is gonna show up against Tennessee tonight and have a helluva game. I don't think UT is as good as everybody thinks. :-)